Bipartisan Approach to Innovation Policy Needed

“It is great to see both the government and the Opposition making such strong commitments to innovation in Australia, as innovation will underpin future economic growth and job creation,” BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“For too long Australia has suffered from the constant chopping and changing of the platforms that underpin innovation in this country. Putting in place the policies and frameworks needed to drive innovation in Australia will require bipartisan support.

“Following the release of the government’s Innovation and Science Statement we would like both sides of politics to agree on some of the fundamentals frameworks to drive innovation in Australia.

“These should include the importance of innovation to future prosperity, the need to mobilise the entire innovation system, and the need for greater continuity and consistency in Australia’s innovation programs and policies.

“We welcome the ALP’s ideas and contribution to innovation policy in Australia. In particular, the emphasis on developing the 21st century skills and capabilities needed to contribute effectively in a modern workplace. Initiatives to embed coding and digital literacy in the curriculum and to boost the skills of teachers in STEM disciplines are important.

“The ALP’s proposals to update the innovation architecture through the creation of Innovate Australia is also significant as ensuring a greater strategic alignment of Australia’s policies is critical. Experience from overseas clearly demonstrates that similar international bodies are effective centrepieces of national innovation systems such as Innovate UK and Tekes in Finland.

“In the context of continued globalisation and competition, the initiative to facilitate Australian entrepreneurs to access key markets, such as the United States, will assist in commercialising ideas developed in Australia.

“Initiatives to promote more start-up capital in Australia should be considered as part of the Tax White Paper process, and as part of a broader set of initiatives to improve and align the incentives contained within the broader business environment.

“The proposal to develop regional accelerators to drive innovation and entrepreneurship is a good idea in principle. The proposal should build on existing knowledge infrastructure within Australia, including our universities and the broader research sector as well as being integrated and aligned with the industry growth centres,” Ms Westacott said.

For further information contact:
Matt Newton, Communications Adviser
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (02) 8224 9207 • Mobile 0409 550 578